Taskbar is undoubtfully one of the most used areas of Windows operating system. The taskbar is helpful to open pinned programs and switch between running programs. Even though Microsoft has dropped Start orb and Start menu from Windows 8, other features of the taskbar remain unchanged.
A number of computer users have purchased Microsoft Surface Pro and other tablets powered by Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. One of the best ways to enhance the desktop mode experience on a Windows tablet is to move the taskbar to the left of the screen so that you quickly access the taskbar and running programs with thumb.
While moving the taskbar to the left of the screen significantly improves the desktop experience in landscape mode, the problem is that while using in portrait mode the taskbar takes a great amount of screen area.
The portrait mode is ideal to browse the web, read e-books, and edit documents. If you prefer using a desktop browser to browse the web or if you use desktop-based software to read your e-books in portrait mode, you might like the idea of auto-hiding the taskbar when in portrait mode.
While one can manually configure Windows to auto-hide the taskbar (option present in taskbar properties), this option auto-hides the taskbar for both landscape and portrait mode. So, if you wish to auto-hide the taskbar for portrait mode only, you need to use a third-party tool named Taskbar Autohide.
Surface Taskbar is a tiny application specially designed for Windows 8-based tablets. It automatically hides the taskbar whenever you switch to the portrait mode and restores the taskbar again when you switch back to the default landscape mode. Needless to say that you can reveal the taskbar by tapping at the left-edge of the screen.
Installing and setting up the tool is straight-forward. Download the Surface Taskbar zip file from the developer’s page (provided at the end of this article), extract the zip file to get the executable and then run the program. When the program is running, you will see a small icon of the program sitting in the system tray area of the taskbar.
With default settings, this tool doesn’t start with Windows. If you like this tool and want to start with Windows, double-click on Surface Taskbar icon in system tray to open its settings and then check Run on startup option.
If you own a tablet, don’t forget to try out the TouchPal touch keyboard for Windows 8.